Sunday, May 25, 2014

Snake-charming Indians we are not!

"Did you see that snake on the road?" I asked.

We had taken a country-road, a back road, instead of the highway.  After the tasty picnic-lunch by the lakeshore, when exiting I saw a board that indicated this other approach to the destination.  Of course, I was immediately tempted to take that route instead of driving on the freeway.  But, not driving alone meant that I had to poll the rest and factor in their views.  Damn this democracy! ;)

Every once in a while, democratic approaches do yield good, and correct, results.  The people agreed. We were off on the country road.

The pleasure of driving slowly, on a sunny pleasant day, in a setting with scenic views, far exceeds anything to be gained by speeding along with the masses.  Taking in things slowly, we notice the world around us that we certainly would not otherwise.  And even then, it all depends on where we are and what our window is to the world.  I had the front seat view, which gave me a perspective that was different from the passenger in the rear looking out on the sides.  It is a wonderful metaphor, by itself, on why our respective takes on various aspects of life also differs, right?

Thus, I saw the snake on the ground that the rest did not.  I am sure there were plenty that they could have observed that I would have missed out on.

None of the other four in the car had noticed the snake.  I had to show them that, even though I have an intense dislike for snakes.   I hate them.

A quick u-turn.

"It is in the middle of the road. Do you see that there?  Maybe a vehicle already has gone over it and it is dead now" I said as we watched from the safe shoulder space by the road.

And then it slithered.  Damn creepy it was!

As vehicles rushed by, the snake, which was smack in the middle of the road, seemed to want to get away from the danger to its life.  Of course; it is about survival. That instinct to survive which is in all of us.

The snake hating crowd we were, well, we started to worry about the snake.  We saw how one wrong move and it would be dead.  We started yelling loudly and were even shouting out instructions to the snake on where it should go, fully knowing we were of no help at all.

The snake, meanwhile, hissed at the passing vehicles.  The head often rose up and angled as if it wanted to bite the potential attacker.

The tension in all of us was way more than what we had bargained for.  It was clear that we did not want to witness the impending gory death.  Another u-turn and we were on the road again to enjoy the pleasant afternoon.

"Is there anything that we can do to help the snake?" asked one.

"I'm sure it is roadkill by now" I said.  "Every other week, I seem to see a dead deer by the roadside when I drive to campus.  This is what happens when we humans invade their territories."

We build roads.
Construct dams.
Dig up the soil.
We do everything in order to pursue our self-interest.
Roadkills are in plenty, literally and metaphorically.
If only there were a better way for that pursuit of happiness!

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